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WSJ on WWI (IV)

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发表于 6-28-2014 07:25:25 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
(4) Andrew Roberts, Winning the Peace; Joining the war late, America lost relatively few men and ended up well-positioned to fill the global power vacuum. Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2014.
online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB20001424052702303827304579618181068914234

Quote:

World War I "does not loom large in the national consciousness of United States * * * Yet the Great War—as it was originally called before Adolf Hitler came up with the idea for a sequel—was what turned the United States into a superpower. The ruin of Europe, the distinguished military historian William Philpott notes in 'War of Attrition' (Overlook, 400 pages, $32.50) ushered America onto the world stage. * * * For relatively low cost, both in absolute and relative terms, the United States gained huge global advantage in power and prestige

"Whereas 17.5% of all Frenchmen in uniform were killed in the war, as well as 15% of Germans and 10% of Britons, America only lost 2.5% of its servicemen—nicknamed 'doughboys' for their youthful appearance. This amounted to fewer than 117,000 American dead, compared with 1.4 million French, more than two million Germans and 1.1 million Austro-Hungarians.

"That strategic thinking involved holding the Germans back from Paris in a series of huge battles on the Marne in 1914, then wearing them down on the Western Front in 1915 before counter-attacking on the Somme in 1916, a battle that was eventually won despite horrific casualties.

"An impressive 43% of those Britons who fought in World War I were volunteers, making it the second largest volunteer force in the history of mankind. (The largest was the Indian army that enlisted to fight for King George VI in World War II, thus implying that the British weren't perhaps the evil oppressors of the subcontinent that Gandhi and the Nehrus made them out to be.)

Note:
(a) This is a review on three books:
(i) William Philpott, War of Attrition; Fighting the First World War. Overlook, 2014’
(ii) William Mulligan, William Mulligan, The Great War for Peace. Yale University Press, 2014;
(iii) David Reynolds, The Long Shadow; The legacies of the Great War in the twentieth century. Norton, 2014.

(b) doughboy
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doughboy
(section 1 Etymology)
(c) Why did this review say the war dead of United States in World War I was "117,000,"

Fact Sheet: America's Wars. Office of Public Affairs, US Department of Defense, undated
www.va.gov/opa/publications/factsheets/fs_americas_wars.pdf
(World War I (1917-1918): Battle Deaths 53,402 + Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 63,114)

(d) "'We must kill as many of them as possible,' Gen Joseph Joffre, the Allied commander in chief in 1914-16, kept saying. 'Kill Boches, kill Boches.'"
(i) Joseph Joffre
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Joffre
(1852-1931; French general during World War I; most known for regrouping the retreating allied armies to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne in [Sept 5-12,] 1914)
(ii) For Boche (n; plural: Boches), see list of terms used for Germans
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terms_used_for_Germans
(section 1.9 Boche)

(e)
(i) Marne (river)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marne_River
("The Marne is infamous as the site of the eponymous two battles during the First World War. The first battle was a turning point of World War I, fought in 1914. The second battle was fought four years later, in 1918")
(ii) The Somme is a river in northern France.

(f) "Mr Philpott argues persuasively that the only way the series of stunning victories of the last hundred days of the war could have been won was as a result of the steep learning curve necessitated by the earlier bloodbaths, in such notorious engagements as the Third Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele."
(i) Hundred Days Offensive
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Days_Offensive
(pushed the Germans out of France, forcing them to retreat beyond the Hindenburg Line, and was followed by an armistice [ie, not intrusion into Germany]
(ii) Battle of Passchendaele
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Passchendaele
(or Third Battle of Ypres or "Passchendaele;" Location  Passendale, Belgium)
(iii) Passendale
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passendale
(or Passchendaele (obsolete spelling, retained in English); a village close to the town of Ypres)

(g) "where the moral standards of the Thirty Years War have returned again . . . with the same dreadful and intolerable consequences"

Thirty Years' War
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War
(1618-1648; Result  Peace of Westphalia (1648))
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